When starting with the most expensive option makes sense: Optimal timing, cost and sectoral allocation of abatement investment
Guy Meunier () and
Stephane Hallegatte ()
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2018, vol. 88, issue C, 210-233
This paper finds that it is optimal to start a long-term emission-reduction strategy with significant short-term abatement investment, even if the optimal carbon price starts low and grows progressively over time. Moreover, optimal marginal abatement investment costs differ across sectors of the economy. It may be preferable to spend $25 to avoid the marginal ton of carbon in a sector where abatement capital is expensive, such as public transportation, or in a sector with large abatement potential, such as the power sector, than $15 for the marginal ton in a sector with lower cost or lower abatement potential. The reason, distinct from learning spillovers, is that reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires investment in long-lived abatement capital such as clean power plants or public transport infrastructure. The value of abatement investment comes from avoided emissions, but also from the value of abatement capital in the future. The optimal levelized cost of conserved carbon can thus be higher than the optimal carbon price. It is higher in sectors with higher investment needs: those where abatement capital is more expensive or sectors with larger abatement potential. We compare our approach to the traditional abatement-cost-curve model and discuss implications for policy design.
Keywords: Climate change mitigation; Transition to clean capital; Path dependence; Social cost of carbon; Marginal abatement cost; Timing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q54 Q52 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
Working Paper: When Starting with the Most Expensive Option Makes Sense: Optimal Timing, Cost and Sectoral Allocation of Abatement Investment (2018)
Working Paper: When starting with the most expensive option makes sense: optimal timing, cost and sectoral allocation of abatement investment (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:210-233
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates
More articles in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().